Western Deep

Description: In light of director Steve McQueen’s recent surge in popularity with the release of increasingly mainstream films like Hunger and Shame, it’s worth considering McQueen’s humble yet promising beginnings as something of a documentarian with an avant-garde sensibility. Western Deep, shot in 2002, is documentary in form, but experimental in terms of its aesthetic […]

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Scorpio Rising

Description: Kenneth Anger captures the ambiguity that lies at the heart of cinema. We sit before a screen as zealots kneeling before an altar. The image is presented as something worthy of consideration, contemplation, even idolatry. Cinema has, in other words, supplanted religion by inciting renewed interest in the occult. It’s no coincidence that James […]

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Ballad of the Skeletons

Description: Gus Van Sant gears up for the success of Good Will Hunting by directing this oddball music video for Buzz Bin newcomer Allen Ginsberg. “Ballad of the Skeletons” (aka “A Ballad of American Skeletons” or “American Ballad of Skeletons”) is a poem that Ginsberg wrote during the weeks leading up to the 1996 presidential […]

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The Shock Doctrine

Description: “Only a crisis, actual or perceived, produces real change.” Such is the central philosophy of what Naomi Klein refers to as “disaster capitalism,” the subject of her international bestseller The Shock Doctrine. Klein uses the ideas of economist Milton Friedman as a jumping-off point for discussing how unpopular free market policies have been sneakily […]

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Koyaanisqatsi

Description: With no dialogue, only the music of Philip Glass, and no characters other than the entire human race and the five elements, this years-in-the-making film is a symphony of sound and image–fast-paced, dazzling, and hypnotic. Seamless slow-motion and time-lapse photography creates a mind-expanding tone poem on the beauty of natural landscapes and the destructive […]

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Pravda

Description: Long before the Velvet Revolution, Godard and a loose collective of Marxist filmmakers traveled to Czechoslovakia to capture images of daily life. The raw footage was then edited–with much sarcasm–to convey that the evil grip of capitalism extends far into the ailing Communist Bloc.

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